Nassau County Leader Laura Curran last week proposed a measure that would provide local businesses with $ 25 million in federal funds to help offset lost revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Curran said last Wednesday that the $ 25 million funding plan for grants, loans and other aid was the result of an investigation by the County Economic Advisory Council. The funds, she said, would come from the American Rescue Plan Act.
âSmall businesses employ our neighbors, family and friends and are at the heart of our vibrant downtown communities that need help,â Curran said. “We need to step up our efforts to support these businesses by providing them with direct assistance while helping them take advantage of programs available from federal and state sources.”
The study was conducted by Hofstra University, which has helped the county obtain information and statistics from local businesses since last summer. According to Curran, the study found that the most effective way for the county to revive its business districts is to provide direct support to small businesses, coupled with a streamlined process for business owners to apply for federal help. .
County officials say Nassau is budgeting nearly $ 200 million in 2021 from the federal plan, as well as $ 185 million in 2022. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who has argued for more $ 10 billion in federal aid to New York, said he was happy to see Curran come up with an initiative to help local businesses.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, and the Curran County Executive’s plan to use this federal rescue program in this way will help them and their employees weather the rest of the pandemic and will fuel Long Island’s recovery, âSchumer said.
Almost a year ago, Curran announced the creation of the County’s Boost Nassau Loan Program, which has provided assistance to small businesses that have not received relief from the Small Business Administration or the Bank’s Protection Program. wages. In June, Curran said, the Boost Nassau Resource Center will be established as a “one-stop-shop” at Eisenhower Park to help small business owners with everything they need to know about qualifying and applying for. federal grants and loans.
Curran’s proposed measure would also include stabilization loans to increase flexibility in repayment periods and ensure lower interest rates for start-ups and minority or women-owned businesses.
“These programs will act as an adrenaline rush for our local economy and hopefully serve as a bridge for our main street stores as the country returns to some form of normalcy this summer,” Kyle Strober, executive director of the ‘Association for a Better Long Island, says.
The proposed measure is expected to be voted on by the county legislature. Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said the Democratic caucus “looks forward” to supporting Curran’s measure.
âAs Nassau County continues the steady return to greater normalcy, small business owners in the heart of our local downtown areas are still feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,â Abrahams said.